Sunday, August 09, 2020

Explained: A look at what led to the Air India plane crash in Kozhikode airport

The Kozhikode airport at Karipur in Malappuram, which has a table-top runway, has been on the regulator’s watch list after the Air India Express Boeing 737 crash in Mangaluru in May 2010.

Theories and rumours about the possible reasons for the crash — from hydroplaning to tailwind to pilot error — were doing the rounds right from Friday night.

Here is a look at the runway condition:

Kozhikode airport was opened back in 1988

Length of the runway during opening was 1,830 metres

Number of daily flights, at the time of opening were 45 (now 10)

Surface Wind on August 7 was 8 knots
The Kozhikode table-top runway (Express Illustrations | Amit Bandre)
What is RESA?

The Runway End Safety Area is the surface surrounding the runway that helps reduce the risk of damage to an aircraft in the event of an undershoot or overshoot from the runway
What happened on August 7 in Kozhikode Airport??

Pilot Deepak V Sathe and co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar try to land the jet on runway number 28, but fail.

?It is raining, but visibility is 2,000 metres

Plane circles the airport a number of times

7.41 pm: The plane approaches from the sea side and lands on runway 10

?Actual touchdown marker is around 1,000 ft from the start of the 2,860-metre runway runway (about 300 metres)

?But the plane touches down at near mid-point (about 1,500 metres)

Soon after crash, fire tenders circle the area and spray foam to form a protective carpet around the flight as fuel is leaking

8.00 pm onwards: Passengers come out through the broken part of the aircraft before the rescue operations begin

11.45 pm: Rescue operations complete when all the trapped passengers are taken out from the mangled remains of the aircraft

Officials from the DGCA and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) reached the spot on Saturday morning and launched parallel probes into the incident

The black boxof the flight was taken to the DGCA office in Delhi for a detailed examination of the transcripts. The help of an international agency will also be sought for investigation.

09/08/20 New Indian Express
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